Minority Rights

Kevin Drum has an Op-Ed in Monday's Washington Post discussing the use of the filibuster against judicial nominees. He does an excellent job making the point that Republicans used many other anti-majoritarian techniques against Clinton's judicial nominees, such as "blue-slipping," which killed a nomination of one Senator from the nominees home state objected. Further, once a Republican President took over, these Senate rules were all dropped. This left the Senate Democrats with the filibuster as the only possible tactic they could use against judicial nominations. So he makes it quite clear that Republicans in the Senate aren't opposed to anti-majoritarian blocking of judicial nominees in principle.

But this is only a defense of the form, "We're no worse than the other guy." Maybe it's why Democrats lose, but I want their behavior to be better than the other guy's. So what I want from Drum is a defense of the filibuster in principle, why someone should support it when their out of power because it leads to better results system wide. I think there is a possible justification based on the model of deliberative democracy, but I'd like to see it really worked out. So I'm not sure how much value there is to the editorial, even though I agree with conclusion.

Also, Drum's last line is great:
Legislators should keep in mind the question posed by Thomas More in "A Man for All Seasons" when his daughter's suitor says he would cut down every last law to get at the Devil. "And when the last law was down," More asks, "and the Devil turned round on you, where would you hide?"